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Children and Young People’s
Eating Disorders


The Children and Young Peoples Eating Disorders Programme supports the delivery of the core clinical programmes within the Long Term Plan and the Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 - 2023/24 (the Implementation Plan) by connecting commissioners, providers, professionals, patients and the public across pathways of care with the aim of improving health outcomes. This is achieved by sharing best practice and innovation, assessing and benchmarking quality and outcomes and driving improvement where required, through targeted support.

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Laura Ansboro

Clinical Network Manager

Jenna Wallhead

Quality Improvement Manager

Natalie Fox

Quality Improvement Lead

Ursula Philpot

Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Clinical Associate

What We Are Trying To Achieve

The Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network Eating Disorder programme for Children and Young People is led by our Clinical Associate, Ursula Philpot, and Natalie Fox, Quality Improvement Lead.

The programme aims to support system partners in ensuring services are accessible and available in a timely manner and in line with National requirements.


Why It’s Important

Research has highlighted the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of Children and Young People. These effects are reported to be due to changes in regular routine, engagement in physical exercise, time spent with friends and family and relationships with food and technology (For more information please see Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and UK lockdown on individuals with experience of eating disorders | Journal of Eating Disorders )

Consequently, there has been a significant increase in the number of under 20’s admitted over the past year (2020/21), with figures almost 50% higher than in 2019/20 (NHS Digital).

What we have achieved in the last 6 months

  • Identified areas for improvement by asking services, young people, parents/carers and families about the current service offer and experiences through our mapping exercises. Most recently we have undertaken scoping on the experiences of 16-25 year olds, particularly around transition (move from children's to adult services and the move from home to university), working closely with students, primary care, eating disorders units and student mental health services.
  • Provided regular opportunities for professionals to increase their knowledge around Eating Disorders, through ‘learning lunches’ (short training sessions), a ‘Community of Practice’ (peer support) and in-depth courses offered by Beat and SYEDA (South Yorkshire Eating Disorder Association). In-house training has also been delivered by our Clinical Associate on topics including guided self-help, motivational interviewing and the early identification of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
  • Worked in partnership with Workforce, Training and Education (WTE) - formerly Health Education England) to provide training opportunities for professionals and parents/carers. This has included training on body image, eating disorder awareness and ARFID. We are pleased to have recently supported 8 families across North East and Yorkshire to attend Beat's new Endeavour programme for ARFID and 28 schools to pilot SEED's Educational Toolkit for Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • Expanded our Eating Disorder Champions to professionals working within universities, schools/colleges and paediatric inpatient wards to ensure non-Eating Disorder specialists receive access to training opportunities and peer support and are supported to share learning, experiences and best practice amongst colleagues in order to signpost young people and their families to relevant resources and services that can provide support.

What We Plan To Do In The Next 6 Months:

  • We hope to launch our ARFID Awareness video in the next few months. This will be accompanied by a leaflet for parents and carers, which provides thoughts and ideas from families supporting young people with ARFID.
  • Continue to provide further shared learning and training opportunities for professionals, parents/carers and families.
  • Undertake further mapping on ARFID to identify progress from last year and areas for improvement.
  • Expand our Eating Disorder Champions programme further to voluntary sector organisations e.g. charities.

Meetings and Events

  • Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Learning Collaborative (Bi-annual)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Learning Lunches (Bi-monthly) –  Recent topics have included; individualised care and body image.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Community of Practice (peer support/space for shared learning) (Bi-Monthly) - currently focused on ARFID.
  • ARFID Pathway Development Group (Quarterly)